In The News


Schwartz Semerdjian partners Dick Semerdjian and John Schena have been named 2019 San Diego Super Lawyers, both in the practice area of Business Litigation. John was previously named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for 2016-2018. This is the 13th straight year that Dick has been recognized by Super Lawyers.

Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in San Diego via a patented multi-phase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The San Diego lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in San Diego Super Lawyers Top Lists.

SSCM is proud to have two partners named to the 2019 Super Lawyers list. Congratulations, John and Dick!


On February 28th, the California Supreme Court published its opinion in the case argued by Schwartz Semerdjian partner John Moot late last year.  In a unanimous 7-0 opinion the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the firm’s client and in the process set forth new precedent for the admissibility of evidence in civil pre-trial motions.  Effectively overruling two, 30 year old cases, the Supreme Court held that the analysis presented and argued by Mr. Moot in reliance on authority from conflicting case law “is sound."  The case settled with a multimillion-dollar verdict in favor of the firm’s client.


On February 13, 2019, the Associated Subcontractors Alliance will host their Annual Legal Update and Member Showcase, an information packed review of new and noteworthy employment and labor laws and regulations that affect those in the construction industry. Schwartz Semerdjian attorneys Kevin Cauley, Kristen Bush, and Sierra Palmer will present on various topics, including new requirements for competitive bidding on public projects, CSLB reporting requirements, employer communications about prospective employers, requirements for mandatory sexual harassment training and OSHA reporting.


SSCM is pleased to announce another client win by partner Kevin Cauley. Client McCullough Plumbing was recently on a federal project, and sued the prime contractor and payment bond surety, alleging it had not been paid in full.

In United States ex rel. McCullough Plumbing, Inc. v. Halbert Construction Company, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212121 (S.D. Cal. December 17, 2018), a subcontractor on a federal project sued the prime contractor and payment bond surety, alleging that it had not been paid in full.  The defendants moved for partial summary judgment with respect to the damages the subcontractor was seeking.  In particular, the defendants argued that the “no damages for delay” clause in the subcontract precluded recovery of delay damages.  The court analyzed whether the “no damages for delay” clause complied with the Miller Act.  The court rejected the defendants’ argument that such a clause concerned only the measure of recovery and was not a waiver of the subcontractor’s right of recovery.  The defendants asserted that the measure of recovery was limited to an extension of time.  The court stated, “The No Damage for Delay clause plainly affects McCullough’s right of recovery of increased out-of-pocket costs caused by construction delays under the Miller Act.”  The court held that the clause was an unenforceable waiver of the subcontractor’s rights under the Miller Act.  The court denied the motion for partial summary judgment. 

Congratulations, Kevin!


Schwartz Semerdjian partner John Moot recently won a long-standing property right dispute, overturning a City of Chula Vista Planning Commission decision to put in a car wash that would have negatively impacted the neighbors and nearby business owners with the traffic and noise of the proposed project. The Chula Vista City Council voted 4-1 to accept the appeal and deny the Conditional Use Permit much to the relief of the 82-year-old neighbor who first opposed the project. Congratulations, John! To view KUSI News recent coverage of the story click here.